Friday, 16 November 2012

Surrey - The Seven Sisters - Pirbright Pain

The Seven Sisters... words of terror to anyone that knows them. And it, Pirbright.

Pain, suffering but physical perfection
Typical. Such a word conveys goodness, light, safety. No. Pirbright. It's a deception. At the time of walking, no RUNNING over them many many times, not only I but more or less everyone felt like dying. 7 hills. Why are they given a female personification? The pain in your chest and legs was like nothing I had ever felt. I was only 20, if I did it now, I would die a horrible death.
Physical fitness is wonderful, the sensation of accomplishment it creates is unrivaled. Never I have felt such joy and exultation at achieving physical perfection. The pain and suffering was worth it.

At the time instructors and trainers behaved like animals; you felt like they hated you and hated weakness. It was about power and humiliation, to make you appear soft and insignificant. Only when you crossed the finishing line did you understand the trainers were for you, on your side; they wanted you to succeed and win. At the time it was absolute chaos - the noise and scream were ceaseless. I was fortunate that in my own pain I could tolerate it because I have practiced before I journeyed here. By the time of Pirbright and the Seven Sisters, I was fitter than I had been. Running then over those hellish hills, I passed the occasional body writhing on the ground in pain - there was a moment during the first attempt when I wanted to give up, I hated it. I saw someone crying in pain; they looked ridiculous in their suffering. I forces myself that I wouldn't demean myself and pride was more powerful than pain. I went on and completed it. The end result was even more pride at the achievement and those that had fail were pushed to an even greater extreme to achieve what I and others had.

There are no platitudes spared; the instructors were merciless. They had to be. Not everyone is self-motivated. Some are more equal than others.
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Friday, 9 November 2012

Astonishing Experiences

Hard Labour for 3 months
It wasn't me - but the choice was an inevitable one. I resigned myself to the fact that I deserved my fate and if this was it, then so be it.
It made me a tougher and more resilient individual and by God I needed to be. The first few weeks were an utter nightmare - in all truth, I started to question why I was there and why I decided to do this. I expect many do question their motives for joining this insane institution.
I really wanted to go back to the peaceful life and my books but I knew deep down that I would stagnate back home, and nothing much would happen. People and friends had moved on so why go back home?
I accepted where I was and decided to remain there. I did for more than 3 years.
But to my surprise, once I got through the initial months of training and was posted to my regiment 8 months later, life became good and full of surprises.
The first 3 months were atrocious - whatever hard labour must have been like in Victorian times, I was in it. 3 months hard labour. My offence? Ignorance. After that, I left the prison and got, amazingly, weekends off for the first time in what felt like years.
I found myself on nights out in Soho, Bracknell, Camberley, places I thought I'd never visit. I then ended up driving across the Yorkshire Moors for 2 months. At the time I hated it and loathed myself but in hindsight the first 8 months were an utter peak and trough of astonishing experiences. Had I known then what I know now 20 years later I would have savoured every moment...